Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
4 ratings

Tuesday - June 13, 2006

From: Somers, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade native to New York
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I am gradually trying to convert my garden to all natives. I am working in a shaded area under a maple tree. Are there any varieties of epimediums/barrenwort or hellebores that are native to the northeast US?

ANSWER:

There are no species of Epimedium or Helleborus native anywhere in the Americas. However, there are plenty of desirable low-growing plants for shady areas native to your region, and our Regional FactPack for the Northeast can help you identify species appropriate for your space.

Keeping in mind that I am not familiar with the specific conditions of your site, here are some initial suggestions for low-growing shade plants native to New York:

Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)
Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)
Heartleaf Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

For additional ideas, contact a local native plant society chapter or a nearby chapter of the Wild Ones, and be sure and consult our National Suppliers' Directory to find out who sells natives in your area.
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Recommendations for native shade plants in sandy soil
July 30, 2007 - I live in Rockport, TX, and would like to plant a small, shaded triangular corner (bounded on 2 sides by wooden fence)in my front yard. The area has limited southern exposure due to shading by live o...
view the full question and answer

Central Texas plants for dry partial shade
April 17, 2007 - I live in Austin Texas. My front garden area has rocky dry soil with intermittent sunlight and shade, maybe 2 to 4 hours of sunlight a day. Herbs do great. What perennial flowers (for some color) w...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for steep shady hillside in Massachusetts
September 02, 2010 - What would be a good plant for erosion control on a steep, very shady hillside in Massachusetts?
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Shade Under a Sweetgum
March 25, 2015 - I have 3 large sweetgum trees that produce so much shade each summer, and grass, even grass meant for shade, won't grow here. It's become a barren desert! I have English ivy but it only seems to gro...
view the full question and answer

Screen plants for part shade in Smithville, TX
February 23, 2010 - Thank you very much for your reply to my question about planting bamboo. I had no idea it was so invasive. I would appreciate any suggestions you might have for me. My goal is to provide a soft an...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.